How Anita Alvarez was rescued from drowning by her coach

Published 1550 GMT (2350 HKT) June 23, 2022
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American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez is rescued from the bottom of the pool by her coach, Andrea Fuentes, after her routine in the women's solo free artistic swimming finals at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on June 22. Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images
Fuentes and a lifeguard took Alvarez (center) out of the pool, where she was given emergency medical attention and taken off on a stretcher. Fuentes later told a Spanish radio station that Alvarez was OK. Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images
Members of Team United States react as Alvarez is attended to by medical staff. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
It was the second time that Fuentes had to rescue Alvarez in similar circumstances. The Spanish coach told El Partidazo de COPE: "I don't think I've swum as fast ever before, even when I got Olympic medals and well, in the end, I was able to get her up and she wasn't breathing ... In the end, everything came out OK." Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images
Fuentes told COPE: "When a swimmer finishes their routine, the first thing they want to do is breathe and so I saw that instead of going up, she was going down and I told myself, 'Something is going on' ... So after a couple of seconds, I went in as fast as I could." Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images
In a statement on the US Artistic Swimming Instagram page, Fuentes said Alvarez was fine after the incident: "Anita is okay -- the doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc ... All is okay ... Anita feels good now and the doctors also say she is okay." Lisa Leutner/Reuters